Star Forward from Georgia Commits to Tigers

by - Correspondent -

COVINGTON, Ga. - Ask Jemere Hendrix's coach to describe his 6-foot-8 star forward's ability, and he points to one play.

"It was the last game we played, about two weeks ago in the state playoffs," said Tom McWhorter, head coach of Eastside High School in Covington, Ga. "Jermere broke away one-on-one, did a reverse-spin on the guy in the open floor and laid the ball in over the rim. The place went silent. They were stunned."

Clemson fans should get an up close and personal look at Hendrix beginning next season. Hendrix verbally committed to the Tigers Tuesday, one day after three current Clemson players announced plans to transfer at the end of the semester.

The moves opened up one scholarship, and CU head coach Larry Shyatt wasted little time in getting the commitment from Hendrix.

"It wasn't really a tough decision," Hendrix said. "I chose the school because of its education and because it's a good situation for me."

Ironically, it was an educational issue which ultimately made Hendrix available to Clemson.

He signed a letter of intent with Notre Dame earlier this season, but was denied admittance to the university after receiving a failing mark during one grading period in a Human Anatomy class.

But Hendrix bounced back. He made qualifying scores on both the SAT (860) and ACT (19) tests, and needs only to pass Physics and British Literature this semester to be fully eligible to play in 2001-2002.

Hendrix currently maintains a 'B' average in both classes.

"It's a funny story I've told a million times," McWhorter said. "He's eligible to play everywhere except Notre Dame...that's the best way I can say it.

"But the situation woke him up (academically). So it wasn't all bad."

Hendrix opened the eyes of college coaches with his versatility, displaying the ability to handle the ball better than many players his size, while at the same time becoming an effective scorer on the low post playing with his back to the basket.

McWhorter said the right-handed Hendrix is equally effective with his left hand, and shoots well from 15-18 feet.

"I know coach Shyatt admired Jermere's worth ethic and his toughness," said McWhorter. "Plus the kid can shoot. And if any coach can turn down shooters, I'd like to see him."

Hendrix averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks this season, following a junior year average of 17 points and 10 rebounds. He chose Clemson over such schools as Xavier (Ohio), N.C. State, Richmond and Tulane.

The extra scholarship became available when juniors Dustin Braddick and Chucky Gilmore, along with sophomore Pasha Bains, announced they would transfer from Clemson at the end of the current semester.

The commitment by Hendrix gives Clemson five freshman in the coming season. He joins Sharrod Ford, Olu Bobalola, Chey Christie and Steve Allen, all of whom have signed letters of intent. Hendrix will sign during the late signing period which begins on April 11.

01-02 Clemson Basketball Recruiting Class

PF Sharrod Ford (6-9, 210) Accokeek MD

PF Olu Babalola (6-6, 245) London, England

WG Chey Christie (6-4, 170) Biloxi MS

C Steve Allen (6-10, 215) Fort Lauderdale FL

PF Jemere Hendrix (6-8, 215) Covington, GA

Dan Scott is the host of SportsTalk (10AM-Noon) on 104.9 FM in Upstate SC and
Managing Editor of Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger

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